New football coach says follow Dempo style

June 15th, 2011 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Newly-appointed Indian coach Armando Colaco says the simplest way to play football is to keep possession of the ball and to look for an opening — that has been his philosophy at his club Dempo back in Goa and he wants the Indian players to adopt it.

“Every coach thrives on his philosophy. My philosophy is the Dempo style of play. The simplest way to play football is not to lose possession and to create more chances. I want the Indian players to play in the Dempo style, which is visually pleasing,” said Colaco, former Dempo coach, who is in charge of the national team for four months.

Colaco’s first test will be the World Cup first round qualifiers against the formidable United Arab Emirates (UAE) whose only World Cup appearance was way back in 1990 in the US. India, however, did beat the UAE 1-0 at Bangalore in 2001 in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers under coach Sukhwinder Singh.

Colaco sounded confident that his style of play will work with the team but, at the same time, he says he can’t be expected to produce miracles overnight.

“It is quite possible to get success with this style of play. Dempo has done well in the AFC Cup consistently and I hope it works with the national team as well. I request everybody to be patient. I can’t achieve anything overnight. Don’t expect miracles overnight, I am no magician,” said Colaco.

After taking over earlier this month, Colaco set his priorities. In a bid to raise a team for the future, he axed 12 seniors, including captain Bhaichung Bhutia, from the 42-member probables and inducted seven youngsters from Indian Arrows, which was formed last year by the All-India Football Federation to prepare the national team for the 2018 World Cup.

“I have total respect for the seniors. But I was asked by the federation to prepare a team for the future. With the help of assistant coaches, I selected players on the basis of their performance in the I-League. I haven’t axed the seniors. They will be called when required,” said Colaco.

Asked about Bhutia, Colaco said: “Bhaichung is a great player and he has done yeoman’s service to Indian football. But that’s it.”

Colaco has also included nine Dempo players, including ageing defenders Sameer Naik and Mahesh Gawli.

“I told the AIFF that I want some Dempo players in the team. Mahesh has been one of the best defenders in the AFC Cup. We are making a team for the future, but we also need experience,” said Colaco.

The Goan also added that he has decided to include East Bengal striker Baljeet Singh Sahni and Chirag United mid-fielder Lalkamal Bhowmick as probables.

“Baljeet has scored three goals in AFC Cup and I think scoring goals in international tournaments matters a lot. Lalkamal is also a fine midfielder,” he said.

The first leg of the World Cup qualifier is slated for July 23 in the UAE while India will host the return-leg at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium July 28.

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